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6/22/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Capitol Hill press conference casts spotlight on freight-rail tax credit bill



A bill that would provide railroads and other transportation industry constituents tax credits to expand capacity gained some exposure on Capitol Hill yesterday. Reps. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kevin Brady (R-Texas) hosted a joint press conference to promote the Freight Rail Infrastructure Capacity Expansion Act of 2007 (H.R. 2116).

Introduced to the House on May 2 by Meek and Cantor, the bill would provide a 25 percent tax credit for capital expenditures made by railroads, shippers, ports, trucking companies and other transportation businesses to build or expand track, intermodal facilities, yards or other rail infrastructure. Qualifying expenditures also would include tunnels, signals, certain locomotives, bridges, yards, terminals and transload facilities. H.R. 2116 is a companion bill to S. 1125 introduced April 18 by Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

The bills would provide the rail industry a funding mechanism to address capacity, a key concern since freight traffic is expected to increase 70 percent by 2020, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

“This legislation is gaining momentum, and I'd to thank this bipartisan group for their support,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a prepared statement. “Railroads can be an important part of the solution to our nation’s congestion, environmental and energy problems.”


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